METAIRIE, La. — Saints punter Thomas Morstead and right guard Jahri Evans were both named to the Pro Bowl as New Orleans’ representatives in the NFL all-star game.
For Morstead, though, it’s a big day, one in which he finally earned recognition for his job. He’s close to setting an NFL record for net punting yards. He’s currently averaging 44.4 net yards per punt, a half-yard more than Andy Lee, who set the record in 2011.
The punter credited special teams coach Greg McMahon for pushing him to do try things “that maybe I didn’t think I’d be able to do that we do now.”
“I’m sure knowing him this isn’t going to stop him or change his ways and we’re going to continue to try to find better ways to be successful,” Morstead said.
As for the nomination itself, he called it "pretty cool."
“It’s something neat to share,” Morstead said. “My fiancé is here. I get to share it with all my family. Hopefully I’ll get to take my parents to Hawaii.”
Evans earned his fourth-consecutive Pro Bowl berth. He’s the second-most decorated offensive linemen in club history behind Willie Roaf, who was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in July. The right guard has started all 111 games for the Saints.
But the biggest surprise might be that quarterback Drew Brees didn’t earn a berth in spite of leading the NFL in touchdowns (39) and yards (4,781). He was passed over for Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Washington’s Robert Griffin III.
For those pondering Griffin’s bid, it would have been hard for him to be passed over by Brees. Griffin currently has the league’s second-highest rating (104.1) and the fewest interceptions in the NFL (5). He’s completing 66.4 percent of his passes, fifth-best in the NFL.
Additionally, tight end Jimmy Graham didn’t earn a spot and neither did receiver Marques Colston.